Way back in 1982, the original Star Wars trilogy had yet to conclude, Khan’s wrath was making William Shatner scream onscreen, and Masters of the Universe debuted in toy stores. At the time, no Filmation cartoon existed yet to popularize catchphrases like “I have the power” — it existed just as a toy line combining sci-fi and barbarian fantasy. Four decades on, the line’s key characters remain pop culture fixtures. Right now, Masters of the Universe exists as three drastically different toy lines, including the ’80s tributes of Origins and the updated animation style of Masterverse. Combining at least those two, Mattel’s 40th anniversary He-Man figure will arrive later this year.
The 40th anniversary He-Man mostly uses the Masterverse body style, but fixes a couple of issues fans have with the style. First, it restores a broader chest and more muscular upper torso to the most powerful man in the universe. Second, it adds an up-down wrist hinge instead of right-left, so he can actually wield his sword aloft in signature power-up pose. Finally, it adds a vintage style head and armor, so this He-Man’s face looks like his ’80s toy, rather than any animation.
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And it returns the iron cross logo to his armor. Most incarnations subsequent to the original figure and Filmation cartoons ditched that symbol, presumably over associations with German war medals. Even in the vintage line, variant He-Man figures used a stylized H-logo thereafter, which Masterverse picked up. In 2002, an asterisk-like symbol replaced both. And the current Netflix cartoon version wears a logo that combines “H” and “M” in a manner that resembles a sword. Still, most casual fans know the Filmation look the best.
In throwback packaging, the anniversary figure will undoubtedly take the occasion to bump the price up a couple bucks. But the improvements to the base body might be worth it. No word yet on official release date or preorders.
Take a look at the official images in the gallery below. Do they have the power for you? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection
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40th anniversary He-Man